I should have spoken up for the Mom who was chastised for absolutely no good reason. We always talk about children standing up to bullies but too often, we are too quiet as adults.
I met a friend, who is expecting her first child, for lunch today at an eclectic marketplace on the shoreline. It's a market that sells fresh produce, meats, and has an amazing salad bar-- perfect for a post-Thankgiving lunch. We grabbed a table quickly since it was very busy and since the tables are very close together, she separated two tables so it would leave room for more people. An older man, probably in his late seventies or early eighties scooped up the seat next to us with his newspaper and coffee.
As I was complaining about getting no sleep with Gavin waking up every hour, and my friend sharing her pregnancy aches and pains, we noticed a mom with three children next to us. They were sharing bites of their sandwiches and the cute little girl asked if she can go to the library. I imagine the Mom said no because she started to cry and squirm around in her seat.
The older gentleman next to us, slammed down his paper, and went right up to the Mom, who was now overwhelmed cleaning up her three childrens' dishes, and pointed in her face and said, "Can you watch your child?" The Mom gave him a forced fake smile and said, "I am trying my best." My stuffed grape leaf almost feel out of my mouth as I gave a look to my and we both rolled our eyes and looked at the gentleman in disbelief for his words. But we said nothing.
The Mom scurried out, as her daughter was screaming, "But I want to go to the library!" She was disheveled and stressed as she gathered her three children in their coats and cleaned up their crusts and crumbs. As I ordered an au lait to go (in which I completely butchered the pronunciation), I wished I had said something in that moment.
What would I have said? As a new mom, I have this new found respect for other moms and feel the need to stand up for one another; support one another. I wish I had supported her and went up to her after to tell her that her daughter was perfectly fine (believe me, I have heard my fair share of real tantrums) and that man was out of line. I wish I had told her that, I too, was a Mom, and thought she was doing a great job with her daughter. I wish I said something. It just bothered me that the gentlemen was so ruthless with her in a place that you would expect children, noise, and chaos. I am willing to bet he had never cared for three children on his own. I wish I let her know that as a sleep-deprived, working Mom, that I was on her side. Next time, I will say something. Moms, we should stick together.